The Mirror is reporting that Newcastle fans may soon get to cheer on the Magpies at St James Park once again. Though it will not be 52,000 strong. According to the report, the whole of next season could be played with a reduced number of fans in the stands.
This claim has both an upside as well as a downside. We fully expected next season to start with the matches behind closed doors. So if when September 12th rolls around, stadiums can house fans at a diminished capacity, that would be better than initially anticipated.
However, the problem is just when are things going to return to normal. The Mirror says it could be some time before restrictions on attendance at sporting events are lifted. The Mirror cites comments from James Calder, who has been working with the government and health officials.
Calder told the BBC that he doesn’t foresee a return to full stadiums until a vaccine is not only developed but widely dispersed amongst the public.
A cricket friendly between Surrey and Middlesex was played before a thousand fans last Sunday. There will also be a limited amount of fans allowed at the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield beginning on Friday.
However, those events have a much more subdued crowd without the chanting and cheering that takes place at football matches. Calder says the spread of the virus through droplets will be a concern at football matches so socially distanced fans could be the norm for the foreseeable future.